Current research in the lab focuses on the following questions:
How does GLI repression modulate chromatin status and enhancer activity?
GLI repressors inhibit target gene expression by deactivating their own enhancers. We hypothesize that this occurs by the recruitment of HDACs as part of a larger repressor complex and are in the process of characterizing this process.
Is GLI repression established prior to HH signaling?
Most HH target genes are activated by loss of GLI repression, however it is not known whether GLI repression is established prior to HH induction, which would allow for synchronized gene activation. We are currently investigating how GLI repression becomes established during development.
What is the Role of HH-signaling in directing larynx development?
HH has an important but poorly understood role in early larynx development. Current work is focused on determining the mechanisms and gene regulatory networks by which GLI proteins mediate the HH response to direct vocal fold closure and subsequent larynx development.